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Derrygonnelly show true grit to go the extra mile

Derrygonnelly 1-17 Trillick 3-11

By Gareth Cauldwell

Derrygonnelly set up an Ulster Club SFC semi-final meeting with Kilcoo with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Trillick in a thrilling encounter at Brewster Park yesterday.

The Fermanagh champions had battled their way back from three points down with five minutes left in normal time and then fought back from four down at half-time in extra-time with Conall Jones landing a free with the last kick to send it to spot-kicks.

In a tense shoot-out, both sides netted their first five spot-kicks before Conall Jones made it 6-5 to Derrygonnelly.

Lee Brennan then saw his effort hit the post for Trillick and the Harps progressed to the last-four. Derrygonnelly got off to a good start to the game as Eamon McHugh flicked a Conall Jones effort that had dropped short to the back of the net and when the latter then rattled over two fine points from play and another from a free it helped the home side into a 1-03 to 0-03 lead.

Trillick, though, were back on level terms in the 14th minute as a lovely ball from Richie Donnelly picked out his brother Mattie, who laid it off to the in-rushing Ryan Gray to fire to the net.

With Brennan then tagging on two points, the Tyrone side moved two clear but back came Derrygonnelly and Ryan Jones and Garvan Jones hit points to tie things up at the break at 1-6 apiece.

Trillick suffered a big blow when they lost the influential Mattie Donnelly to injury at the break but they edged back in front early in the second half when James Garrity fired low to the corner to make it 2-6 to 1-7.

The sides traded points after that but when Lee Brennan clipped over a free it put Trillick into a 2-10 to 1-10 lead.

However, Derrygonnelly rallied and Garvan Jones landed two frees before Shane McGullion struck a point to send the game to extra-time.

Again the Tyrone side got their noses in front in the first period of extra-time as Gray prodded home his second goal of the game, tucking the ball home after a Brennan '45' had come back off the crossbar.

And when Brennan then slotted over a free it put four in it, 3-11 to 1-13. Indeed, that lead could have been greater but Niall Gormley hit the post as Trillick remained four ahead at half-time in extra-time. Back again came Derrygonnelly though and three points in the opening three minutes of the second half from Garvan Jones (2) and Ryan Jones got them back to within one.

Trillick looked as if they may hold out as it moved into added on time but Derrygonnelly were awarded a free and Conall Jones held his nerve to slot it between the posts to force a shoot-out.

Derrygonnelly: C Jones 0-07 (5f), G Jones 0-06 (3f), R Jones 0-03, E McHugh 1-00, Shane McGullion 0-01. Penalties: C Jones 2, G McGinley 1, E McHugh 1, G McKenna 1, A McKenna 1.

Trillick: L Brennan 0-07 (4f, 1 45), R Gray 2-00, J Garrity 1-00, L Gray 0-02, M Donnelly 0-01, D Gallagher 0-01. Penalties: L Brennan 1, D Gallagher 1, J Garrity 1, S Garrity 1, N Gormley 1.

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